CathBlog - Mary would counter Keneally on ethics classes


Arnold Jago of Mildura calls his blog The Real Mary MacKillop. He labels as “child abuse” NSW Labor’s moves to introduce ethics classes into the state’s government schools.  

Classes 4 to 6 are an important stage when our children are impressionable and idealistic. Trying to force moral relativism down their throats in the name of secularisation is a kind of child abuse.

Jago invokes Mary MacKillop’s energetic confrontation of the secularism of her day, when “the notorious Henry Parkes was busy ‘secularising’ schools”.

Today she would be fighting the NSW Government’s ethics classes, as she was “daily more and more convinced of the evils to their faith to which Australian children are exposed on account of the wicked secular education that is now general.”

In A Priest Down Under, Father Nicholas Pearce of Melbourne quotes US Cardinal Raymond Burke’s exhortation to English-speaking seminarians in Rome to wear the cassock.

In contrast to more secular wear, the cassock is a reminder “in a visible way that [the priest] has been configured to Christ”.

The cassock also helps him to avoid the temptation to see himself, instead of Christ, as the protagonist in the works of pastoral charity, and, thereby, it is a practical help in the daily conversion of life, in the day by day emptying of himself.


Terra Incognita praises the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference for their “strong step in the direction of transparency”.

He was referring to the detailed media release they put out in the wake of their recent Plenary Meeting. But he takes them to task for what he calls their “weak” response on gay marriage:

I assume it represents a compromise and a pastoral judgment.  The ambivalence may help to get signatures on a petition and holding off a great evil by providing a middle ground on this issue in the face of a relentless assault… But really, shouldn't we hold the line at actual truth, and reject all these 'variety of domestic arrangements', most of which amount to the legitimisation of living in sin, as well?


Holy Irritant’s most recent post is about the protests against the appointment of former General Peter Cosgrove as Chancellor of the Australian Catholic University because he led Australian forces into war in Iraq in 2003. 

He quoted The Catholic Worker movement’s Sean O’Reilly, whose video of the protest appears on this page: “He ignored the pleadings of the Pope, and the declaration of Australian Catholic bishops that this was not a just war”. 

Cosgrove’s response appears to affirm Terra Incognita’s suggestion that the Bishops should be more single-minded and vocal in the positions they take: “I wasn't particularly conscious that the church was taking a very strong position”.


Clerical Whispers notes that Australian Jesuit Richard Leonard’s new book Where the Hell is God? has sold out in Ireland. He quotes Leonard’s talk at a packed Gardiner Street Jesuit church in Dublin, attempting to dispel the myth that God is like a Harry Potter film. 

Leonard said Catholics believe in a God who is “generally full of sweetness and light but every so often goes off into the ‘department of dark arts’ and sends down earthquakes and does terrible things in the world.”

Blog Watcher is a regular 'blog of Catholic blogs' published by CathNews.

Disclaimer: CathBlog is an extension of CathNews story feedback. It is intended to promote discussion and debate among the subscribers to CathNews and the readers of the website. The opinions expressed in CathBlog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the members of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference or of Church Resources.

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